8 reasons you should be playing Pokemon Go with your kids

Pokemon Go is something you and your teen can do together.
Pokemon Go is something you and your teen can do together. Photo: Bloomberg

I have a confession. About three years after I started playing Candy Crush I'm still addicted. I play waiting in the car when I'm doing the school pick up, I play when I'm watching TV because I cannot do nothing with my hands and I'm a very bad knitter; and I play it a lot of other times I probably shouldn't.

I'm not proud.

But, in startlingly good news for my crushing addiction, I have discovered Pokemon Go. While both games may be smartphone dependent and screen based, Pokemon Go has a huge benefit; for the first time in a long time, my teenager and I have an exciting common interest.

And as my Facebook feed fills with delighted parents talking about scouring the neighbourhood with their kids I realise, not only I am not alone, but Pokemon Go is doing great things for our relationships with our kids.

Just when you thought smartphone games were the enemy – here are eight reasons playing Pokemon Go with your kids is a really good idea

1. Forget the Fitbit to chalk up the miles, forget bribery and manipulation to get this kids out of the house, I'm not sure there is anything else that will so readily get your child to get up and get walking. I can vouch for the fact that getting a teenager to commit to walking outside on a regular basis was nigh impossible before Nintendo lent a hand.

2. Like driving in the car, walking next to your child (even if you are searching for Pokemon) allows a really easy non-confrontational way of talking. None of that forced eye contact thing that teenagers seem to be allergic to, this is just side-by-side chat that happens naturally in between finding little creatures.

3. You enter your child's domain. By playing the same game it allows you access into their world and there's no huge technological divide, you are literally both on the same page. I cannot say the same thing about learning Snapchat which saw me scouring hungrily for Snapchat for Dummies or an equivalent thereof while my son did a lot of muttering to himself. The only world I could really make out was "old".

4. Even though you don't need to understand the technology behind it, it may just blow you away. You will learn things from placards and signs in your own neighbourhood that you never knew even existed. Learning about your local environment with your child bonds you together in the way that only new learning situations allow.

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5. It's not only about learning and connecting. Sometimes it's just fun to share a common interest, something that excites you and doesn't make your child's eyes roll.

6. As your thirst for new Pokemon grows you'll find yourself exploring places together, places you may never have been to before. Doing this can help to create a really special relationship outside the normal bounds of trying to get your child to listen to your wisdom.  

7. It stops us having to nag. Aren't you sick of telling your kids to put the screen away? Getting into this game will having you begging them to bring them out.

8. Pokemon Go encourages us to get outside. We already know that being outside and engaging in some form of physical activity is great for our mental health. Couple that up with time spent with family and you're winning, even if you never get to catch Pikachu

I may just replace Candy Crush and while it will be hard to tear myself away from those stripey candies I am fully prepared to enter the world of Pokemon especially if it gives me more time with my teen.